Team Penske NASCAR Xfinity Race Report
Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Race: Ford EcoBoost 300
Date: November 16, 2019
No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 9th
Stage 2: 1st
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 40
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-1746)
Austin Cindric and the No. 22 MoneyLion team finished the 2019 season on a high note, leading 40 laps, winning Stage 2 and finishing seventh in Saturday evening’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Cindric closed the 33-race season with two victories, 205 laps led, 14 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes. He ended up sixth in the final point standings.
The driver of the MoneyLion Ford Mustang started his day by grabbing third place during qualifying for the 200-lap race. Over the course of a caution filled 45-lap first stage, Cindric fell to the 10th position, battling a loose Ford on fire-off. He was credited with ninth-place at the end of Stage 1.
During the caution, crew chief Brian Wilson called the 21-year-old to pit road for four fresh Goodyears, fuel and minor adjustments to help aid the handling. Cindric would restart 10th on lap 50.
The Mooresville, N.C. native wasted no time powering his MoneyLion Mustang to the lead on lap 53, dominating the caution-free second stage. Cindric led a total of 40 laps en route to taking the stage win. Wilson called the No. 22 MoneyLion Mustang to pit road for service on lap 93 for fresh tires and fuel. Cindric would restart in the second position when the race restarted on lap 96.
Over the course of the long run, Cindric fell to fifth by lap 122. Cindric communicated to his MoneyLion team his Ford was too free on the long run. Wilson elected to pit Cindric once more for adjustments and he would restart fifth on lap 127.
Cindric was able to race his way to the fourth position, still battling a loose Ford. The final stage would see green-flag stops starting with Cindric pitting from the fourth position on lap 157. Cindric would inherit the lead briefly but was unable to hold off a hard charging Christopher Bell and would surrender the top spot on lap 165. The remaining laps would run caution free and Cindric would fall to the seventh by the end of the 300-mile race.
Quote: “It was a great season. I wish I would have been able to end it off a little better. Winning that stage there in stage two was awesome. I knew my lane was gonna go away there and knew we had to do a couple adjustments to keep up with the track. I think maybe some practice probably would have done us some good. We came with a bit of a science project and it paid off in a lot of ways and I think we learned a lot, but it was definitely something to learn for next year.”